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New Fic: That Time of the Month

That Time of the Month
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Rated: PG
Category: Gen. Hammond POV.
Season: Six or thereabouts.
Spoilers: Crystal Skull, Redemption Part I.
Summary: It’s that time of the month again. (And no, not the one you’re thinking of.)
Word Count: 874
Note: Written for the 2012 Ancient Obsessions Advent Prompt: Unit.(Somewhat of a holiday fic.)


xxx

It’s that time of the month.

Time to meet with Colonel O’Neill  regarding the off-world duty roster.

Again. It seems like we just did this, and here we are again. That’s a mixed blessing, really. Neither one of us much enjoys scheduling, but we’ve managed to make this mundane chore of the SGC less mind-numbing through the  years. We usually review the team assignments over lunch somewhere other than our respective offices, and it helps break up the monotony of the less-glorious side of Stargate Command. We are mostly colleagues then, and perhaps friends, rather than superior and subordinate. That’s nice for both of us. I’ve come to look forward to these little outings, despite their very basic nature.

Still, I wish we could skip this month.

He’s always grumpier than usual this time of year, and getting him to agree to anything, even something as simple as duty rosters, is nearly impossible.

I’m sure he wouldn’t admit that even if he were aware of it, which I’m don’t think he is, but it’s true.

He’s a bear during the holidays, and everyone knows it but him.

Granted, I understand why.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a child, and Christmas has to be rough. The fact that he takes that out on everyone else really isn’t that surprising. As a father and grandfather, I really do get it.

I saw Kayla just last night. She was trying to be on her best behavior, since Santa’s coming soon, and the memories of her antics are still making me smile.

So I can see why he gets a testy this time of year.

It can’t be easy.

Still, the show must go on, as they say. These schedules won’t approve themselves, and it’s nearly thirteen hundred, so I’ve got to get going.

I meet up with Colonel O’Neill in the Officer’s Mess, and we get to work.

As we do, I notice something out of place.

He’s grinning. He’s trying not to, of course. He’s trying to be professional and just get the job done. But I can see a little smirk playing at the corners of his mouth, and I can’t help but ask about its origin.

“You’re in a good mood today, Colonel,” I remark.

Jack looks up from a days off request and raises his eyebrows at me. “I am?”

I smile at him. “You seem to be. What’s got you so happy?”

He actually chuckles. “Oh, well, ya see…” he starts. I prompt him to continue and he runs a hand through his hair. “It’s Teal’c. Well, Daniel and Teal’c. Okay, and Carter, too.”

“Oh?” I ask, now intrigued.

“Yeah,” he says. He leans back in his chair and relaxes a bit. “See, Daniel and Carter played this joke on Teal’c. They convinced him that Elvis was not only still alive but actually an experiment in cloning and that impersonators weren’t impersonators but real and…well, you had to be there, but it was classic.”

I laugh, not having the slightest bit of difficulty imagining the scene he’s describing. It reminds me of when my own kids were teenagers and I can’t help but see the similarities between parenting teens and herding SG teams. I’m also struck by something else. Something I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to realize: Jack isn’t the only one with a right to be testy during the holidays.

Teal’c lost his wife, and he gets to see his son rarely at best. Granted, his holidays are different, but that’s hardly the point.

Daniel Jackson is a mess of might-have-beens.

And Major Carter is trying to make amends with a father who is now host to an alien.

Every member of my flagship team is a right mess when examined individually.

But somehow, together, they work.

The colonel laughs with me and then picks up the schedule change request again. “So, back to the subject at hand. Are we gonna let Reynolds off for New Year’s or not?” he asks, and I shrug.

“Oh, I don’t know,” I say. “What has he done lately to give us trouble?”

Jack chuckles. “Oh, not much. Not as much as Daniel, anyway.”

I laugh. “Agreed. Grant the request.”

Jack signs the paper and slides it over to me. I do the same and file it in our box of completed paperwork.

It doesn’t take long before we finish the rest of our duties, and then we go our separate ways again.

As I walk back to my office, I can’t help but smile.

Yes, SG-1 has been through a lot, and somehow I don’t think the universe is done making them suffer, but I know that together, they’ll be okay. They’ll pull through whatever this crazy job throws their way as a team – because that’s what they do.

I reach my office and sit down at my desk. Kayla stares out at me from a photo there, and suddenly I realize that using the word “team” for SG-1 is a bit of a misnomer.

Unit is a better word, but only if you put another word in front of it.

Because while they may not be a traditional family, but they’re one hell of a family unit.

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